monsoon

Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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6 hours ago, nicholas said:

Not sure if this is the right thread to post in, but definitely the closest active topic I saw.

Anyone know what's going on with the Graham St/Mallard Creek Rd/University City Blvd extensions?  I drive through this area all the time and haven't seen any signs of progress in literally almost forever.  It's really frustrating because there have been bottlenecks on Graham St, Sugar Creek Rd, and Mallard Creek Rd for YEARS due to how long this is taking, and it's not getting any better with continued development adding to the amount of traffic in the area. 

I have to wonder, if this was in south Charlotte, would it be taking so long?

There were some issues with the contractor at one point, but that was like a year (+?) ago. It could be AT&T/Duke issues. They've cause multi-year delays on several roadway projects in the Charlotte area.

The only difference is that in South Charlotte you'd have a bunch of uppity rich people complaining about it and threatening to sue for various reasons. The Rea Road widening project a few years ago was a PITA from what I heard.

 

On 3/11/2018 at 8:23 PM, kermit said:

anybody have a number for the total construction cost of 485? I can only find bits and pieces of data (I heard $540 million for the final phase). I sure would like to compare 485's cost to the transit plan.

I don't, but if you get the figures just make sure they take inflation into account. 

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1 hour ago, Spartan said:

There were some issues with the contractor at one point, but that was like a year (+?) ago. It could be AT&T/Duke issues. They've cause multi-year delays on several roadway projects in the Charlotte area.

The only difference is that in South Charlotte you'd have a bunch of uppity rich people complaining about it and threatening to sue for various reasons. The Rea Road widening project a few years ago was a PITA from what I heard.

I'm beginning to think Levine is involved with the project! :D

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Observer: Red-light cameras save lives, studies show. City manager says don’t bring them back.

(Not sure if this is the appropriate spot for this topic.  Do we have a traffic safety thread?)

Hopefully the City Manager will come out with some kind of justification for his position on red light cameras.  Cities and countries that are making any meaningful progress on stemming the number of traffic deaths are using automatic enforcement as an important tool.  While these programs will never be politically popular, there is a huge amount of data and research proving them to be very effective at reducing the number of angle crashes that are most likely to lead to serious injuries and fatalities for drivers, pedestrians, and people riding bikes. 

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The Business Journal has a big front page article on the Monroe Bypass toll road.

Here are a few quotes for those not subscribers:

"The Monroe Expressway will become North Carolina’s second toll road in modern history when it opens in November.  ""

Quotes Chris Pate of Union EDC   ""“It has been a far stretch to interest industry along a roadway that’s 44 or 45 stoplights away from Charlotte,” he says. The road, he adds, just may put Union County into a completely new industry segment for seeking employers.  The Monroe Expressway will be Union County’s only direct interstate connection, allowing Platé and staff to recruit logistics companies the way interstate-connected counties in the Charlotte region have for decades, he says""

The toll will average .15 a mile or $3 for the whole 20 mile stretch.     I sure hope it opens in November for it is looking good last time I saw it.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/03/16/inside-the-730-million-investment-to-build-a.html

 

 

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Today (as someone who lives in South charlotte) I decided to venture north into the Concord area Via 85. It’s been a while since I’ve done that and I was surprised how wide 85 gets and how far North Charlottes sprawl continues. It didn’t really get rural until afternoon Salisbury. 

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Does anyone know what the widest non-highway roadway is in Charlotte by number of lanes? WT Harris and UC Blvd both have stretches that are 6 lanes +/- turn lanes, wasn't sure if there was anything bigger than that

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1 hour ago, tozmervo said:

Does anyone know what the widest non-highway roadway is in Charlotte by number of lanes? WT Harris and UC Blvd both have stretches that are 6 lanes +/- turn lanes, wasn't sure if there was anything bigger than that

4th street and 3rd street have four continuous driving lanes heading in and out of Uptown. 

Edited by jtmonk

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Does anyone know what the widest non-highway roadway is in Charlotte by number of lanes? WT Harris and UC Blvd both have stretches that are 6 lanes +/- turn lanes, wasn't sure if there was anything bigger than that


I believe this was discussed a LONG time ago and I think the verdict was Harris at JW Clay at the time. Eastbound Harris has 7 lanes if you’re including turn lanes, Westbound Harris has 6 lanes, McCullough has 4, and JW Clay has 5. Not sure if that is still the current record holder anymore.
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On 3/16/2018 at 11:34 AM, KJHburg said:

The Business Journal has a big front page article on the Monroe Bypass toll road.

Here are a few quotes for those not subscribers:

"The Monroe Expressway will become North Carolina’s second toll road in modern history when it opens in November.  ""

Quotes Chris Pate of Union EDC   ""“It has been a far stretch to interest industry along a roadway that’s 44 or 45 stoplights away from Charlotte,” he says. The road, he adds, just may put Union County into a completely new industry segment for seeking employers.  The Monroe Expressway will be Union County’s only direct interstate connection, allowing Platé and staff to recruit logistics companies the way interstate-connected counties in the Charlotte region have for decades, he says""

The toll will average .15 a mile or $3 for the whole 20 mile stretch.     I sure hope it opens in November for it is looking good last time I saw it.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/03/16/inside-the-730-million-investment-to-build-a.html

 

 

It is exciting that it is getting close.   Every time I explore the project, though I get somewhat annoyed that they go just ever so slightly longer to bypass Marshville.  All that to dump the cars just before a 6-light town instead of just going 3 miles longer to bypass it which could have very easily been .    

Since they didn't do that, the hope would be that it increases traffic enough finally get Marshville and Wadesboro (7 lights) bypasses in the plans. They are not even listed as projects, or a goal right now.    At least Polkton's US-74 has a super-street design with no lights.   

Regardless, the lion-share of the time from uptown Charlotte to Wilmington has always been in Charlotte and in Monroe.  So this project will make a serious dent in the time it takes to Wilmington.  

But because the section of US-74 is part of the I-74 corridor, there are only 2 remaining traffic lights that remain east of the Rockingham bypass to Wilmington and they are funded to be swapped for interchanges.  In face, they are building 7 more interchanges or overpasses for intersections that do not have a light on US-74.    

So Wadesboro and Marshville will be the last sections of slow speeds and red lights left in a couple years.  

There is a project, though to build a median in Wadesboro.  Hopefully they at least add super-street turns there too and remove the lights.  

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Within Charlotte, though, I've always been a very strong supporter of the having tolls to cover urban interstate growth, to help the recoup the costs of sprawl from the actual users that live in the sprawl, but also because the lanes can move more cars if they are market priced with tolls. 

I'm relieved the Independence Managed Lanes projects are moving forward, although I'm annoyed they only are able to fit one reversible lane in the stretch from 277 to Briar Creek.     

They have also published the design ideas for the Southern 485 managed lanes project which adds some dedicated onramps that will help spread the load to other surface streets in south Charlotte.

https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/I-5507/

The big screw up in I77's managed lanes was the privatization of the contract.  I'm glad they are not doing that for the other toll roads and managed lanes being planned, and hopefully we are able to get the next set on US 74 and I-485 without being tarnished with strange politics like the I-77 one has been.     They are reviewing plans this month on options out of the contract mess.   

https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/I-77ExpressLanes/

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On 3/19/2018 at 4:59 PM, AuLukey said:

I believe this was discussed a LONG time ago and I think the verdict was Harris at JW Clay at the time. Eastbound Harris has 7 lanes if you’re including turn lanes, Westbound Harris has 6 lanes, McCullough has 4, and JW Clay has 5. Not sure if that is still the current record holder anymore.

 

N Tryon between Eastway and Old Concord has 7.  If you count the right turn lane at West Eastway and the merge lane going outbound from Eastwasy, there's a small area that technically has 8 lanes of width.

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@dubone I think one or two of the bypasses may make it in the upcoming NC STIP 2020-2029. We’ll hopefully find something out in a week or so. I also believe the CRTPO is submitting an application to widen Indy between Uptown and Albemarle Road for an additional managed lane, along with more managed lanes on I-485 in southwest and southeast Mecklenburg. 

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Raleigh and I-540 and ramp meters and NCDOT says they will be coming to Charlotte soon.  In my travels across the country I have encountered them my first response is that I did not like them but while in the LA Southland they really do keep the flow up.  

I think they are looking at 77 south and I do think they would work well there.  But as this article says there are some negatives. 

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/traffic/article207119464.html

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What's going on with the highway lights? I'm visiting my parents for a few days and I can't believe how many lights are still not working across 77, 277 and the somewhat recently widened stretch of 485 in south Charlotte. I thought they were fixing the lights across the metro area, does anyone know if that project still in progress?

This has always been a huge pet peeve of mine. I've visited a lot of places, and NCDOT by far is the worst. Compared to other places, there aren't even that many lights to maintain to begin with. The highways are just so dark here.

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7 hours ago, nyxmike said:

What's going on with the highway lights? I'm visiting my parents for a few days and I can't believe how many lights are still not working across 77, 277 and the somewhat recently widened stretch of 485 in south Charlotte. I thought they were fixing the lights across the metro area, does anyone know if that project still in progress?

This has always been a huge pet peeve of mine. I've visited a lot of places, and NCDOT by far is the worst. Compared to other places, there aren't even that many lights to maintain to begin with. The highways are just so dark here.

I could not agree more!  I was thinking about this again the other night driving from Carowinds up through uptown.  Our highways are so dark - it's unsafe and really makes our city look smaller.

Whenever I've raised this concern in the past or even just asked a question, I've gotten skewered by some and ignored by most.  Maybe someone will have some good answers about this....

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22 minutes ago, allthingsplanes said:

I could not agree more!  I was thinking about this again the other night driving from Carowinds up through uptown.  Our highways are so dark - it's unsafe and really makes our city look smaller.

Whenever I've raised this concern in the past or even just asked a question, I've gotten skewered by some and ignored by most.  Maybe someone will have some good answers about this....

Just found my answer :) Looks like the project to fix the interstate lighting got delayed until the end of summer. 

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/thousands-of-charlotte-area-interstate-lights-still-not-fixed/723735364

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I have noticed over the past few months they have replaced the old lights at the exits on 77 south with new LED lights. These are on the tall poles at the exits.  They are so much brighter. Maybe they start with those and moves to the ones on the median wall. 

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This is all good and the replaced lights will make a huge difference but there are large sections of interstate that have NO lights at all.  Case in point is the junction of 77 and 485 north of Charlotte.  It's pitch black (with the exception of the really bright lights from the Hendrick dealerships about 1/2 mile away).   I just can't believe they didn't include any lighting in that area as part of the construction - they did at several of the interchanges on the newest section of 485.  But large areas of the old sections are dark.

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Burnishing our Third World credentials, the southbound ramp from BGP onto I-77 has almost been reduced to rubble.

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I also do not understand Charlotte and it's lack of Lights.  85 and 485 intersection near the airport is PITCH BLACK. 485 and 77 north is Pitch Black.  Billy Graham has NO LIGHTS.  I do not understand the decision making when it comes to all these areas with no lights.

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http://wfae.org/post/red-light-cameras-still-under-discussion-despite-hesitations#stream/0

Bringing back the red light camera topic, though it didn't generate a lot of feedback last time I posted about it. 

Marcus Jones has advised City Council against installing red light cameras, arguing that there are more effective safety measures available through the City's (funded?  unfunded?) Vision Zero program.  I'm curious to hear the opinions of members of this group - red light cameras are politically unpopular but seem to be very effective at reducing the types of crashes that are most likely to produce fatality.  In general, automatic enforcement (red light running and speed cameras) seems to me a necessary part of any credible Vision Zero program, alongside a heavy dose of engineering improvements that make geometric changes to streets to reduce the possibility of speeding automobiles in urban environments.  Jones has been tasked with researching alternative safety measures and presenting those to Council in the coming weeks. 

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